The award-winning Jewish Exponent has been published weekly since its debut on April 15, 1887.
It began as an independent newspaper, with the 43 prominent Philadelphians who founded it forming a stock ownership company to ensure it would be representative of the entire community. Real estate owner Benjamin Teller was the president of the group. They pledged that the paper would be "devoted to the interests of the Jewish people."
The first editors were Henry S. Morais, Charles Hoffman and Melvin G. Winstock.
The first two pages of that first edition were lined with ads. The entire issue was only 14 pages. As the 20th century dawned, the publication had grown to twice that size.
From its outset, the Jewish Exponent covered the Jewish community in Philadelphia, the nation and the world. There was even a regular column called "The House of Israel." Editorially, it was a significant voice in favor of Zionism during the earliest years of the worldwide movement founded by Theodor Herzl.
Long before the Jewish Exponent became a publication of a pre-cursor of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the newspaper reported on the community's philanthropic endeavors, including a 1919 notice that the Federation campaign had raised a record $1.1 million.
The Jewish Exponent experienced tough financial times during the war years, and on May 5, 1944, the Allied Jewish Appeal purchased the publication, as anticipation for the creation of the State of Israel grew.
Since then, the Jewish Exponent has carried news of developments in Israel, efforts to rescue Jews the world over from repressive regimes and the ever-expanding role of Jews in American public life.
Along the way, it has garnered honors each year for excellence in Jewish journalism for its news, features, reviews and commentary from the American Jewish Press Association.
For most of its existence, the Jewish Exponent was published on Fridays. But in the mid-1990s, the paper changed its publication day to Thursday, to better ensure its arrival in area households in time for Shabbat. In 1999, the Jewish Exponent became a presence on the Internet and the World Wide Web, bringing its comprehensive coverage of the Jewish community to an even wider audience.
Each week, the Jewish Exponent brings its audience of over 50,000 subscriber households in the greater Philadelphia area and around the country and thousands more on the Internet with local, national and international news, a hard hitting opinion section with a wide range of opinions about all the important issues of the day, features about people and institutions in the community, regional sections covering Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties and the BuxMont area, weekly pages for kids, teens and college students, and popular sections on the arts, books, business, science and health, travel, food, dining and life cycle events. Under the leadership of the newspaper's publisher, the Jewish Publication Group of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and the editorship of Jonathan S. Tobin, who took the helm of the Jewish Exponent in December 1998 the Jewish Exponent remains committed to its mission of providing the greater Philadelphia region with the best in Jewish journalism every week.